If you are eligible and would like to host short-term stays, you'll need to register and become a certified host with the Office of Short-Term Rentals.
Step 1 of 2: Register as a business
Obtain a Business Registration Certificate from the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector. Visit The San Francisco Business Portal to learn more about applying for a Business Registration Certificate online.
If you already have a business registration for a separate type of business in San Francisco, then update your account with the SF Treasurer and add a new business location for Accommodations (even if the same address as your current business).
Note: This step must be finalized before you can register as a certified host with our office.
Step 2 of 2: Register to become a certified host
Obtain a host certificate (valid for 2 years) from the Office of Short-Term Rentals. You may only offer (list/advertise) short-term-rentals after you have received this certificate, and your certificate number must be posted on all listings advertising your short-term rental. Review the eligibility requirements below. Please do not apply if you do not reside full-time at the individual dwelling unit (apartment/suite/home) as a permanent resident (please see the "Am I Eligible" Section further below).
Click here to visit the SF Business Portal and register online. Choose the option that says: "Step 4: Apply with OSTR (Office of Short-Term Rentals)." You can also download the application and make an appointment to register in-person with the Office of Short-Term Rentals. Please note that staff can arrange for assistance in different languages, if needed. Also, in-person appointments do not result in a faster review timeline.
Short-term rentals in residences are only legal if you are registered with the San Francisco Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector and have also received a certificate from the Office of Short-Term-Rentals.
If you are not certified and you advertise/rent a dwelling unit for periods of less than 30 nights, you are violating the City's short-term rental laws, and are subject to possible enforcement action, including substantial penalties.
You may host short-term rentals if you have a complete application pending review with our Office; currently reside in the dwelling unit; and there are also no City complaints pending against the entire property. Please note that our Office cannot require hosting platforms to operate a listing while an application is pending (but please contact us if you run into this issue). Also, please note that if you are a renter, our Office cannot require the property owner to allow your short-term rental activity in the event that private leases, or other private agreements prohibit such activity. If the application is ultimately denied, then the host would need to cease short-term rentals.
Violations of the City’s short-term rental laws are subject to penalties of at least $484 per day for each dwelling unit in violation. These daily penalties begin on the day that a Notice of Violation is issued by the Office of Short-Term Rentals, and continue to accrue until the violation is fully abated. Repeat violations may be subject to escalated penalties and referral to the City’s Attorney’s Office for additional civil and/or criminal penalties.
The San Francisco Property Information Map (under the "Planning Apps" tab) shows whether a short-term rental registry application has been approved for a property. No other identifying information from your application is posted online or provided to the public.
In order to start hosting short-term residential rentals in your home you must meet all of the following conditions:
1. Be the permanent resident
You must live in the actual dwelling unit that you wish to offer as a short-term rental for at least 275 nights of any given calendar year, as either an owner or a tenant. If your property features multiple dwelling units, you may not live in one dwelling unit, while operating short-term rentals in a different dwelling unit.
Certain types of properties are never eligible for short-term rental. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are not sure how your property is classified.
Rules for Residential Hotels
Rules for Tourist Hotels or Timeshares
Rules for Live/Work Units or Artist Live-Work Units.
Many private agreements such as leases, homeowner’s association bylaws, and Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) prohibit subletting (or use of your dwelling unit as a short-term rental). While the City does not enforce these types of private agreements, the Office of Short-Term Rentals strongly recommends that you review such agreements before submitting an application.
If you are a renter (tenant), in any type of property, you will need to provide a copy of your lease or rental agreement when you apply. We will send a courtesy notice to the owner(s) of your unit to inform them of your application.
If you are a renter and your dwelling unit is also subject to rent control rules, you may not make more than your monthly rent from short-term rental fees charged in the same month to guests.
If you are a resident (whether a co-owner or tenant) of a tenancy-in-common (TIC) building, or are a co-owner of your dwelling unit, we will send a notice of your application to all co-owners of the building.
To see if a property (home, condominium or apartment) is already registered to host short-term rentals,visit the City's Property Information Map, search for the address of the property, and click on the 'Planning Apps' tab. A Short-Term Rental Certificate will be listed (at the bottom of the Planning Apps screen) if one is currently active on the property.
Please note that pending or denied applications for a Certificate are not displayed on the Property Information Map.
For properties located in RH-1(D) zoning districts, neighborhood notification is required. This means that if you live in one of these districts, after you submit a complete application we will send a courtesy notice, with your name and address, to all property owners and residential tenants who live within 300 feet of your unit (and nearby neighborhood groups registered with the Planning Department). They will have 45 days to submit comments to us. Neighborhood input will only affect your application if someone submits sufficient evidence that you, or your unit is not eligible to host short-term rentals.
You can check to see if you live in an RH-1(D) district on the Property Information Map. Search for your address, and then choose the Zoning tab on the right to see your zoning district.
Many private agreements such as homeowner’s association bylaws, and Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) prohibit subletting or use of your dwelling unit as a short-term rental. While the City does not enforce these types of private agreements, the Office of Short-Term Rentals strongly recommends that you review such agreements before submitting an application.
2. Have property liability insurance
You must have property liability insurance in the amount of no less than $500,000, or provide proof that property liability coverage in an equal or higher amount is being provided by any and all hosting platforms through which you will rent your unit. Proof of liability insurance is not required if hosting activity is only handed by a platform (website) that already extends similar liability coverage.
3. Resolve any code violations
Ensure that your dwelling unit remains compliant with all Building, Housing, Planning, and other City codes. If your dwelling unit (apartment/suite) is located within an apartment building or tenancy-in-common (TIC) building, then the entire property (including other dwelling units) must be compliant and not subject to Code Enforcement.
Once you have received a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration Number you may:
What you may never do with your registered dwelling unit:
If your application for a certificate is rejected, suspended, or if a previously-issued certificate has been revoked by the Office of Short-Term Rentals, you may file a written appeal within thirty calendar days from the date of the notice of rejection, suspension, or revocation. Hosts must cancel any pending reservations (for stays of less than 30 days) and remove any online listings (offering stays of less than 30 days), if an application is denied (even if an appeal is filed), or if a certificate is suspended or revoked (even if an appeal is filed). For further information, please review these procedures.